Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Pupil’s social, emotional and mental wellbeing is at the centre of our curriculum as we recognise that being emotionally and mentally well supports pupils to be ready to engage and learn. Our social, emotional and mental health curriculum teaches children about managing their feelings and behaviour, developing their mental health and wellbeing, building positive relationships and keeping themselves safe.

The following themes run through our social, emotional and mental health curriculum and are delivered through the themes of the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL).

Body Awareness – Children will develop an understanding of their bodies, knowing their body parts and telling adults when something in their body doesn’t feel right as well as what is private about their body and what children can do if something happens to their body. At Palatine, we also use the West Sussex E4S curriculum to support pupils further in this area. 

Relationships and working with others – Children will develop their social skills and relationships with others by joining in with others and learning how to play alongside and with others. They will build relationships with people around them and know who is important to them and why. Our Relationships (Sex) Education policy outlines how we support pupils to learn about positive relationships and has been consulted on with parents and staff.

Feelings – Children will develop their understanding of different feelings and emotions, what these might look and feel like and strategies they could use to help. At Palatine, we use the Zones of Regulation to support pupils understanding of their emotions and how to help themselves to be able to regulate when they are in the different zones.

Making good choices – Children are supported to develop their understanding of how to express their feelings appropriately and know what the boundaries are that they will be working within at school. Children develop the skills to be able to choose from and select options that will help them navigate back into a space where they are ready to learn and respond to language that helps pupils to understand this. Children will develop the confidence to take on new challenges.

Where children need extra support to regulate and be ready to learn, the Palatine behaviour team supports pupils with strategies and behaviour management resources. These are documented in a support strategies or behaviour management plan.

British Values

British values permeate through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’. We recognise that this development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.  Children and staff are supported with a code of conduct to ensure all members of our school community know what is expected of them.  We also offer many opportunities throughout the curriculum to explore different aspects of ‘British Values’ through a broad and balanced opportunities. 

Democracy is promoted throughout our communication curriculum. The ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning. We ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate. This ‘voice’ could be using words, objects, photographs, pictures, symbols, signing, eye pointing or body language. Some children also use high tech communication aids to enable them to communicate and share their voice. We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.

We have an active School Council with representatives from all classes as well as a Head boy and Head girl who are voted for each year. Our school council meets regularly and will discuss issues that are raised within their classes as well as whole school issues.

Rule of LawPupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within the school and beyond. We can help many pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.

Individual Liberty – Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to ideas or activities. Many of our pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes certain responsibilities. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning. 

We support others by participating in charitable events such as Red Nose Day/Comic Relief and Children in Need, we also hold an annual ‘Dance/Wiggle’ day to raise funds for a charity who support us throughout the year.  This helps children to have a sense of pride in what they are doing and allows them to see themselves as part of a wider community.

Our nurture groups and emotional literacy support programme allows children to monitor their feelings and request time to see a designated person.  This fosters an independence to support children in recognising and managing feelings. 

Mutual Respect –We promote each pupil’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to meet their individual needs. Within school, pupils work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted. This may include working with external coaches, theatre groups or therapists. The curriculum is personalised and planned with the child at the centre and may include transitioning within the range of resources and places on the site and going into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include community events and shared participation with other schools.

Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs – We are part of a school and local community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. 

Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others.

Our Assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong and our curriculum ensures coverage of many different faiths and beliefs.

Pupils experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils have visited many local places. As part of History topics children learn about British historical events. As a school, we take part in sporting activities, both in school and within the local community, which helps to instil ‘fair play’ and promote a ‘team spirit’.

Although some of our pupils may find it difficult to articulate their feelings and concerns; staff are attuned to changes in demeanour and well-being that may indicate anxiety. If they are concerned about a pupil our accepted practice links to the Child Protection Policy which entrusts a duty of care to all staff to actively protect and promote the welfare of children.

Staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at Palatine Primary School are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.

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